Saturday, July 22, 2006

Unproductive, says archbishop of impeachment moves

THE head of the Roman Catholic archdiocese in Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday called the moves to impeach President Arroyo ‘‘unproductive’’ and said he doubted if the ongoing campaign would lead to the truth.

Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, concurrent vice president of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippnes (CBCP), echoed a joint statement issued by organized bishops that they were not inclined on supporting the new impeachment campaign ‘‘unless the process and its rules, as well as the mindsets of all participating parties... are guided by no other motive than genuine concern for the common good."

Ledesma said the impeachment moves would ‘‘once again serve as an unproductive political exercise.’’

Ledesma’s pronouncements during his homily last Wednesday came even as the local opposition announced it was preparing to turn over its impeachment complaint against Arroyo.

Ex-vice mayor and local Black and White Movement lead convenor Antonio Soriano said he would turn over the impeachment complaint forms to opposition Rep. Francis Escudero of Sorsogon during a meeting here on Saturday.

Soriano’s group initiated the local impeachment campaign; the ex-vice mayor’s law office has opened its doors to all those who want to sign the complaint.

The archbishop echoed the statement of the CBCP released after a three-day plenary of 98 bishops at Pope Pius Center in Manila. "This is the stand of the CBCP, the impeachment drive at this time would not really be the way to truth."

Ledesma however said he and the other bishops respect the position of those who are pursuing the impeachment campaign.

While the CBCP has ackowledged that the search for the truth over the controversies hounding the Arroyo administration must be relentlessly pursued through structures and processes under the Constitution, the impeachment process being one of them, Ledesma admitted that the bishops have not discussed alternatives to the impeachment process.

The local Black and White Movement said it was unfazed over the CBCP’s position even as it intensified its information campaign in the barangay levels.

‘‘More people are coming to listen to the ‘Stop Cha-cha (Charter change), Impeach Gloria’ campaign, and more and more people are expressing desire to sign the impeachment complaints,’’ said Soriano in a statement sent to The Gold Star Daily.

Soriano said his law office would remain open to all those who want to sign the verification and certification forms to the complaint. "That can be read at Gold Star Daily>Link

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